Samsung Pay vs Google Pay: Everything You Need to Know

Finding the right mobile payment for your needs requires knowing your options. Here is everything you need to know about Samsung Pay vs. Google Pay.

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Adam Moelis
Sep 17, 2021
8 Min Read

Did you know that, according to the Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans in 2018 had a mobile phone, with 77% of them having a smartphone? Additionally, out of Americans aged 18 to 29, 100% of them had a smartphone.

If you’re an American with a smartphone, then you’ve probably thought about using a mobile payment service.

When you have a smartphone that isn’t an iPhone, you have two options when it comes to making payments on phones: Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

But when it comes to Samsung Pay vs. Google Pay, how do you decide which one is best for you?

Choosing mobile payment services can be overwhelming with so much information out there on the different features of each option.

That’s why we’ve put together this article. In it, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and how they compare to each other.

Finally, you can choose the right phone payment service for you and start making your purchases simpler than ever. Read on to learn more.

Samsung Pay vs. Google Pay

Both Samsung Pay and Google Pay are used to make payments on smartphones. They work similarly, in that you store the details of your payment card on your phone so you can easily use it to make transactions over the counter and online.

This makes the process of making payments more streamlined than ever. You don’t need a wallet anymore.

But when these two services are so similar, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you. That’s why we’ll go through the differences of each option now.


When it comes to security, both Google Pay and Samsung Pay are quite impressive. Both use the same type of technology to keep your financial information safe. The card information isn’t stored on your smartphone.

When you make a payment, this information is ‘tokenized’ when you pay, which means you aren’t sharing your card details with the merchant.

Additionally, both phone payment services use biometric technology, such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanners, which is even safer because only you are able to make the payments.

However, Samsung has the secure mobile system, Knox, which they claim is the best in the world.

The UK government uses this mobile system, so if security is especially important to you, Samsung Pay might the right choice for you.


When it comes to the amount you can pay using Samsung Pay or Google Pay, both of these services are unlimited. This said, many merchants will have a limit on how much you can pay with these services, which is usually around $30.

If there’s a merchant you use often, it might be worth checking with them whether they limit Samsung Pay or Google Pay.

If it turns out that they limit only one of these, then this can help you decide on which mobile payment service is best for you.

Payment Options

With both of these payment services, you can connect many of the same cards to them. Additionally, you can store loyalty and membership cards with both of these and connect them to your Paypal account, making online payments easier.

However, when it comes to payment options offline, Samsung Pay is slightly better.

One of the benefits of Samsung Pay is that it uses both NFC and MST, or magnetic secure transmission.

This means that, in addition to being able to do contactless payments in person (which is possible with Google Pay), you can also swipe as if you had a magnetic card.

Google Pay doesn’t have this option. This means that you’re a bit limited when it comes to in-person shopping.


Finally, it’s important to review compatibility options. This will make a big difference when it comes to which payment service you prefer. Google Pay is available on any Android device that has support for NFC technology.

Samsung Pay, on the other hand, can only be used on Samsung devices. This greatly affects how compatible this payment service is with smartphones.

When One Is Better to Use Than the Other

Now that you know about the primary differences between Samsung Pay and Google Pay, we’ll go into when it makes more sense to use one or the other. That way, depending on your lifestyle and technology choices, you can choose the best one for you.


If one of your main purchases is groceries, then you’re probably better off using Google Pay. This is because they’ve now partnered with Target and Safeway so that you can easily find deals through the Google App.

All you have to do is search for the grocery chain, find one near you, and tap on “View Weekly Deals.” If you have location turned on in this app, you’ll also be notified when there are deals on groceries near you.


Google Pay is also a better choice if you’re often traveling. This is for several reasons. First of all, internationally, Google Pay is supported in more countries than Samsung Pay is. Additionally, there’s boarding pass storage on Google Pay, making travel even easier.

This said, if you make a lot of international transfers but don’t travel that much, Samsung Pay is a better choice. This is because they have more support for international payment, in almost 50 countries.

Online Shopping

Both Google Pay and Samsung are accepted by many online merchants. However, Google Pay can be used to buy from many e-commerce stores through their Android apps. These stores include Boxed, AirBnB, Fandango, Boxed, and Caviar.

They also include Houzz, Kayak, Instacart, Postmates, and Kayak. Considering how many businesses have Android apps, if you prefer buying online—especially on your phone—then Google Pay is the right choice.

Shopping in-Store

When it comes to shopping in-store, Samsung Pay is generally a better choice. This is because you’re able to pay both with contactless as well as with the magnetic strip feature. Google Pay features aren’t as good in this regard.

This said, it’s best to check with your favorite stores to find out whether they prefer one payment service over the other. This can help you decide on the best one for you.

You Don’t Have a Samsung Phone

Unfortunately, one of the problems with Samsung Pay is that it only works on Samsung phones. If you don’t have a Samsung phone, then this might not be the best choice for you. You could always buy one, but that would be doing a lot for a smartphone payment method.

Public Transport

In some cities and states, you’ll be able to use Samsung Pay or Google Pay for tapping into your public transport system. Compatability can vary significantly, so check your local public transport system to find out which of these mobile payment services is best.

Keep in mind that some people have complained that Samsung Pay takes a bit too long because of its complicated authentication process.

While this might not be an issue when you’re shopping online in bed in your PJs, it might be annoying to have to deal with when you’re rushing to work in the morning.

When Using Wearable Tech

If you’re big into wearable tech, like smartwatches, then you’re probably better off getting Google Pay. Google Pay is compatible with all types of wearable tech, whether you’re an iOS or Android user. Samsung simply doesn’t have this advantage.

Easier Setup

Finally, if easier setup is important to you, then you’re better off using Google Pay. The process to get started is much simpler and faster than the hoops you have to jump through to use Samsung Pay.

Additionally, Google Pay works with almost every card issued now in the US. Even credit unions and smaller banks are starting to make their cards compatible with Google Pay.

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